Nearly 30 Shigellosis Cases Now Reported in Winnebago County

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The Winnebago County Health Department reports the number of cases of Shigellosis is up to 29 since October.

They report the majority of these cases are from children in daycares and elementary schools.

Shigellosis is a diarrheal disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella.

“Parents and caregivers need to be vigilant in monitoring hand washing in children and during toileting and diapering to prevent the spread,” said Public Health Administrator, Dr. Sandra Martell in a news release.

The Rockford School District has also sent a letter home with parents of the Summerdale Early Childhood Center after two cases were confirmed there.

Anyone with symptoms of diarrhea should contact their doctor and stay home from work, school, or daycare.

Shigella is treated with antibiotics, fever management and fluids.

Common symptoms typically start 1 to 2 days after exposure and include:

  • Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain


Transmission of shigellosis can be reduced using the following strategies by carefully washing hands with soap during key times:

  • After using the toilet
  • Before eating
  • After changing a diaper or helping to clean another person who has defecated (pooped).

Those with questions may call the Winnebago County Health Department at 815-720-4050.

To learn more about shigellosis, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/shigella, or the Winnebago County Health Department at www.wchd.org.

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